10 things I wish I'd known before starting a Year Abroad

I'm definitely guilty of being one of those people that loves a '5 things bloggers don't tell you' or a '20 daily thoughts of a student' kind of post so I thought I'd write my own version about things I wish I'd known before starting my year abroad in Germany. This might be useful for someone preparing for their own year abroad, it might be relatable for my friends who are also on their year abroad or it might just be downright amusing. I'm not sure yet. If you're interested in my year abroad journey so far, you might like to read The Berlin Diaries #1, Goodbye Gottingen: Year Abroad Week Twenty-One or Year Abroad Week One: Girl in Gottingen

1. You own too many things. I never knew I was a secret hoarder but I have spent so long carrying around bulky suitcases that I've learnt a lot about what is 'essential' and what is 'Melissa essential'. These are not the same things.

2. You will miss your family, friends and boyfriend. Not being there for big events such as two important birthdays is never easy but the best way to cope is to use Skype, mail and Facebook to be as 'present' as you can be. This week has been particularly hard for me because there's been an illness in the family but it's taught me that all the little things I stress about on a daily basis really aren't that big of a deal!  

3. You will never take the internet for granted again. I'm lucky that I haven't had too many internet problems so far but I am fully aware of how dependent I am on it for Facebook, blogging, calling my family, transport information and general entertainment. 

4. There are so many Erasmus forms to fill in that you'll actually consider packing it all in. The struggle is real. 

5. Everything in Germany takes forever. Whether it's getting a form signed, setting up a bank account or registering for just about anything, nothing is ever straight forward. 

6. You'll wish your hairdresser could relocate to be near you. I managed to get my hair done at Christmas but as I won't be going back to England until possibly May time, I think I'm going to have to brave a German salon *pray for me*.

7. There are certain foods you're not going to be able to find - such as good bacon and Yorkshire tea. Also gone are the days where you can rely on Tesco's prepared meals to save you from actually cooking. On another note, say goodbye to online food shopping.

8. Thinking in Euros can be quite hard sometimes. I'm not a numbers person as it is but if you consider whether something would be good value if it were in pounds, then it's a double win. 

9. Germany can be ridiculously cold. Are all those sleeveless tops really a good idea?

10. After you've overcome all these challenges without nothing going too badly wrong, you're going to feel pretty accomplished. Don't give up!

I just have four months of my year abroad left to go, do you have anything you wish you'd known before a long trip or year abroad?


Photo: (https://stocksnap.io/photo/VZZR7AGYQF)

Post a comment